Wow, thanks for the link! I have not opened the file yet, but that looks like a really nice manual to have. I love how the old computers would include the technical information about the machine. The main page on that website also has quite a few games and utility software, like assemblers, compilers, etc. They even have a way to move files between a modern computer and the PC-1500 via the tape interface (nothing unexpected, the method uses the sound card to record a WAV file, or playback a WAV file). There are even utilities to create and convert WAV files to/from binary files.
for a printable game board.
I typed a line into my Sharp PC 1500A then turned the Sharp off, removed a battery and waited 30 seconds. Put the battery back, turned it on and listed and the program was still there. Maybe it stores it to flash memory? Not sure.
Thanks for the link. A printout might not be as fun as getting a real game board though. Maybe I'll make one... Hmm, like I don't have enough projects already... Something about the game board though, the tiles have very busy graphics on them and seem to have no role in the actual game play. The graphics are also seemingly unrelated. Does anyone know what the graphics are supposed to represent?
Something else that I was thinking about related to the alternate rules that were mentioned a few posts back, specifically the variation where stacking was not allowed. Based on the layout of the board I don't think that would have been an original rule (realizing now (after researching the game) that the original rules and origin of the game are over 4000 years old and not completely known). Vorticon mentioned modifying his A.I. because "controlling" the central rosette has a tactical advantage because you can't be captured on that tile and it makes it harder for the opponent to hop over. However, if you can't stack your own pieces, it makes it just as hard for you to hop over that tile as well, thus eliminating the advantage of controlling the tile. Of course this is just complete conjecture on my part, having only just heard of the game and spending a total of 20 minutes researching its origins and history.
The more I read about the game the more interesting it becomes. It is very overwhelming to me that we are still playing a game that was created over 4000 years ago, and apparently played in many places and forms (like a game board scratched onto a stone wall). Could anyone 4000 years ago have even been able to imagine people still playing the same game thousands of years later? I wonder if any games created and played today will still be around in 4000 years (assuming we don't blow ourselves up first)? I wonder if a 99/4A would still work in 4000 years?